Bike Walk & Blog: Toole Design Group selected to lead planning effort for “shovel-ready” projects

Toole Design Group selected to lead planning effort for "shovel-ready" projects

From Steve Clark, BWTC

A consulting team comprised mostly of engineers dedicated to safe cycling and walking, is ready to tackle some of the toughest barriers in the Twin Cities. Toole Design Group (TDG) was selected from arguably the top consulting firms in the nation to help Bike Walk Twin Cities and our partnering public agencies bring people together and figure out how to transform a dozen streets into something that will work better for walking and bicycling. 


Q. How do you take a street like Snelling Ave or Central Ave NE or Franklin Ave. and make it work for bicyclists and pedestrians?

A.  You start by listening.

That was certainly the approach taken by Bill Schultheiss and others from the Toole Design Group when they held a series of kick-off meetings for 12 different planning studies. The meetings, held September 23rd, brought together concerned citizens, public works' officials, elected leaders, planners and neighborhood representatives for the purpose of sharing ideas and insights.

And what a lot of ideas and insights there were!

 Bill and his team had earlier biked many of the routes, followed by a van tour that incorporated all the corridors to be studied.  This allowed the team to better understand the comments and appreciate the challenges that lie ahead. 

A blog last month provided  a list of all the corridors to be studied and a bit about the possible scope of each..  As we begin to digest all of the good information that came out of the kick-off meetings, the scopes may be refined and there will be a separate web site set up so people can follow the progress.  For this blog, I want to take the time to let you learn more about the consultants, who will be back in town the week of October 24 for the "Complete Streets Week."

Bill Schultheiss, PE, Toole Design Group: 

Bill is the project manager for all 12 projects.  He has broad civil engineering experience and has been the lead engineer for all of TDG's major bicycle master plans. He has personally overseen and designed over 250 miles of bike lanes and 8 miles of Cycle-Tracks. Bill is a nationally recognized expert in bicycle and pedestrian facility design and effectively communicates multi-modal engineering concepts and solutions that gain support from communities.  As an active member of the Bicycle Technical Committee and the Pedestrian Task Force of the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD), Bill stays on the forefront of emerging engineering practices.  Bill has provided engineering support for the revised AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilites, as well as authored numerous design guidelines for many major cities including: Washington DC, Boston, MA, Baltimore, MD and Seattle, WA.

Christina Fink, PE, Toole Design Group:

"Tina" is a professional engineer with over six years experience in traffic engineering. She combines her background in traffic engineering, signal design and traffic modeling to provide for multiple modes of transportation. She has served a lead role in applying detailed vehicular modeling using Synchro, SimTraffic, SIDRA, and HCS software packages on numerous project types.  Through her professional experiences and graduate work in Community and Regional Planning, Tina has developed complete and context sensitive solutions to engineering problems.

Tom Huber, Senior Planner, Toole Design Group:

Tom Huber recently joined TDG as manager of the firm's Madison, WI office. Prior to joining TDG, he was the bicycle and pedestrian coordinator for the State of Wisconsin, working for WisDOT for nearly 20 years. Tom accomplished a great deal during his tenure with WisDOT, including award-winning State Bicycle and Pedestrian Plans, design manuals, and workforce training to create a culture with the Department that supports walking and bicycling. Wisconsin was recently awarded its second silver award as a Bicycle-Friendly State. Tom has been very active on the national level, serving as a leader among State Coordinators on a wide variety of issue, as well as hosting the Coordinator's annual meeting two different times in Madison. Tom is a founding member of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP).

Michael Moule, PE,  PTOE, Nelson/Nygaard:

Michael has over 17 years of progressive traffic and transportation engineering experience, including street design, traffic engineering, pedestrian and bicycle facility planning and design, development review, neighborhood traffic concerns, construction administration, and involvement of citizens in transportation issues. Michael combines traditional transportation engineering and planning with cutting-edge methods and technologies to create innovative solutions to the transportation and livability challenges faced by communities throughout the United States.  Mike was the founder and president of Livable Streets, a certified trainer for Complete Streets, and has  been a member of the National Committee for Uniform Traffic Control Devices.  Michael is also a member of the League of American Bicyclists and a certified league instructor (LCI # 1150).

Peter Lagerwey, Toole Design Group

Peter is the Director for TDG's office in Seattle, WA, after having spent over 25 years as the manager of Seattle's pedestrian and bicycle program. He is author of "Creating a Roadmap for Producing and Implementing a Bicycle Master Plan" and co-author with Dan Burden on "Road Diets: Fixing the Big Roads."  As a certified instructor for Complete Streets, he has developed and taught training courses at over 200 locations throughout North America.   Peter also developed an extensive Crosswalk Analysis approach, providing recommendations and improvement plan for Seattle's 600 marked crosswalks at uncontrolled locations. Materials developed have subsequently been developed into a case study utilized for trainings at many professional seminars and conferences.

Tim Springer, Springer Consulting

Tim will be the team's public outreach consultant, having spent the last twenty years at the Midtown Greenway Coalition as co-founder and executive director.  Tim is well versed in transportation infrastructure design standards and public policy, and has a passion that helped create what arguably is the best urban greenway in the nation.

Howard Preston, PE, CH2M HILL

Howard is a principal transportation engineer at CH2M HILL with more than 30 years of experience.  His qualifications for this project literally started when he began his career with Mn/DOT, where his primary responsibility was to develop Mn/DOT's highway safety improvement program.  Howard has participated in numerous road safety audits and safety planning and research projects where his focus has been identifying cost-effective, practical recommendations the agencies could easily implement to improve safety.  Howard was the lead author for the NCHRP 17-18 (19) White Paper, Alternate Strategies for Safety Improvements Investments. In addition to work on this project, Howard is presently leading the development of County Road Safety Plans for all 87 Minnesota counties.